After his long-time stay with Barcelona, midfielder Xavi Hernandez has announced that he will be leaving Camp Nou to head overseas and join Qatari ballclub Al Sadd.
“I’d like to announce that I’m leaving Barca after this season,” Hernandez said in a press conference on Thursday. “The decision is definitive yet difficult.
Xavi’s announcement came in as no surprise, as he has already been hinting a possible move out of Barcelona since last year. Last summer, he nearly signed up with New York City FC, but the 35-year old eventually decided to stay for another season with his squad. However, Xavi remarked that he was happy with the decision, as he will be able to leave the squad on a positive note, despite not being able to play more.
He also noted that he did receive a new offer from Barcelona to extend his stay up until June 2019, but the midfielder said that it felt like it was the right time for him to move to new grounds. Xavi also described his upcoming stint with Al Sadd as something that is truly for him. Al Sadd is considered as one of the most successful ballclubs in the Middle Eastern country, with the team dominating the Qatari League 13 times and also winning the prestigious Emir of Qatar Cup several times.
Hernandez remarked that he is positive that Barcelona will still be able to prosper, despite him leaving. Hernandez added that he hopes to be able to come back to Barca in the future. Xaviu has been one of the most important figures in the team’s line up in the last few years, with him contributing heavily their success in the La Liga this season.
Teammate Andres Iniesta remarked that he is going to miss Hernandez, as he says that the latter is a truly unique player. He also said that it has been a privilege for him to be able to play alongside Xavi.